My Photo Shoot (kinda)

My three youngest children (they are actually young adults, now, but still live at home with us) all have special needs- autism and developmental delays, and one of them, our adopted Russian daughter, Lena, had a serious reaction to some medication she had been taking. It resulted in five pretty sleepless, exhausting days for all of us and translated into almost no progress on the conference table I am supposed to have ready in the very near future. I am tired, financially stressed, and the temperature in my shop is exceeding 100 degrees every afternoon. Such is the romantic, fulfilling life of the craftsman. Thank God, though, for family, friends, fans (the kind that move air), and good doctors.

One nice thing happening is a feature article on my work that is to appear in the next issue (July 2009) of Custom Woodworking Business Magazine. One of their writers, Brad Walseth, contacted me a few weeks ago, and we began putting it together at a leisurely pace (well, at least for me; Brad is the one doing the real work). Then he called me on my cell phone yesterday afternoon as we were bringing our daughter home from the doctor, and said they wanted a photo of my furniture for the cover. Wow! That sounded exciting; but it couldn’t be a studio shot or have a neutral background. They wanted something in a room setting, and they needed it in less than 24 hours.

I emailed him four worthy candidates out of my iPhoto library, and with a quiet smile, awaited his choice. They were all rejected- not the right style, too blurry, more vertical and less horizontal. Not to be done out of my glory, I woke up this morning, got out my little tripod and my Olympus point and shoot, and waited for the sun to get around on the right side of the house. Then I dusted and decluttered the living room and went to work shooting some of the eclectic collection of things I have made that are in my own home.

maple chair&desk2These are what I sent the magazine, and, you know, photographers work hard, and that’s why they make the big bucks, and I still haven’t heard anything back. OK, these probably aren’t cover quality shots, but this is what I spent my day doing, and I insist that someone look at my pictures! Above is a little writing desk of wenge with curly maple accents. The chair is curly maple with bubinga back slats. Click to enlarge the images. To see more examples of my work go to My Furniture Gallery.

armoire2This piece is in walnut with cocobolo pulls, my homage to the antique armoires of the past. Tomorrow it’s back to the salt mines and the Texas summer heat.

3 thoughts on “My Photo Shoot (kinda)

  1. Louis, I saw the write up on you in the Custom Woodworking Business magazine and just had to check out your site — very, very impressive. You seem to have reached a level that I’m striving to get to. It’s ironic that I retired from teaching after 31 years and during that time was able to get enough work in the summertime to pursue my woodworking passions. Now that the economy has taken a nose dive I’m making furniture for myself instead! I’m guessing that your sewing machine cabinet was one of those projects. I’ve decided that now is the time to learn how to really market my work on the web and am signed up for a seminar on that this fall. Could you give me any sources that you may have used to create your web presence? How much time do you devote per week on maintaining your blog? I’ve always been somewhat computer resistant but realize it’s the way things get done in the 21st. century, heck, I’d rather plane a board to size than run it through a wide belt sander! Anyway, I really like your work and wish you continued success — John

    1. John,
      Nice to hear from you and thank you for your comments. Let me say I went to your website and very much enjoyed seeing your work and your wife’s paintings. How awesome to be creatively involved together!

      I think it is a great idea for any professional craftsman or artist to have a web presence in this day and time, but the internet is such a huge place now it is not always easy to get noticed in the search engines. You have to be pro-active in getting your address out there on business cards, newsletters, emails, and links to other sites. Don’t just wait for people to come and find you.

      If you are serious, it would be good to sit down with a professional website designer and see what they have to say. Your site does a good job of showing your work and projecting your personality, but a professional could help with graphic design, organization, key words, and underlying code.

      You made an excellent choice in teaching for 31 years. I have been making furniture for almost that long, but have no retirement to fall back on. I once heard some one ask Sam Maloof when he was going to retire. His reply was, “The day after I die”, and, you know, that’s exactly what he did. I can relate to that. Thanks again.

  2. Hi Louis, thanks for taking the time to answer me and also look at our sites. The continuing education department of UNLV is offering a seminar on how to use the net, facebook, and related technology to promote your business. Diane and I both have signed up for it. She’s finding that in the art world many galleries are going out of business so it seems that the internet will play an even larger role in sales for all of us. In any case, when you love your art you do everything you can to get it out there. Thanks – John

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